Articles Regarding Higher Education
WWU in the News
Sept. 29, 2008
WWU in the News
Pierson, Bland, Miniea appointments
Up Til Dawn kick-off
Kremer appointed to Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission
Graduate & Adult Studies
Page 13-18 Shana Parke-Harrison
Articles Regarding Higher Education
Jack Shainman Gallery: Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison, Counterpoint
Jack Shainman Gallery
513 West 20th Street, 212-645-1701
October 10 - November 8, 2008
Opening: Friday, October 10, 6 - 8PM
Jack Shainman Gallery is pleased to present Counterpoint, Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison's
inaugural exhibition at the gallery and their first, and therefore highly anticipated, exhibition in New
York since the unveiling of their acclaimed body of work and monograph, The Architect's Brother.
Counterpoint features new photographic works with a painterly edge and sculpture that is both
startlingly beautiful and haunting.
Abandoning the tightly closed narrative format of their earlier photographic works, the
ParkeHarrisons continue to pursue, with the same absorbing psychological and sensory effect, the
ever-bleakening relationship linking humans, technology, and nature. This time the works feature an
ambiguous narrative that offers equally compelling insight into the dilemma posed by science and
technology's failed promise to fix our problems, provide explanations, and furnish certainty
pertaining to the human condition. Strange scenes of hybridizing forces, swarming elements, and
bleeding overabundance portray Nature unleashed by technology and the human hand and
Rich colors and surrealistic imagery merge to reveal the poetic roots of the works on display. The
use of color is intentional but abstract; proportion and space are compositional rather than natural;
movement is blurred; objects and people juxtaposed as if by chance in a visual improvisation that
unfolds choreographically. At once formally arresting and immeasurably loaded with sensations-the
ParkeHarrisons' new body of work has a powerful impact both visually and viscerally.
Counterpoint, a new full-color book published by Twin Palms Publishers, is available.
Robert ParkeHarrison studied photography at the Kansas City Art Institute and the University of
New Mexico. Shana ParkeHarrison earned her degree in painting from William Woods College,
going on to study dance history and metalsmithing at the University of New Mexico. In 1999 Robert
ParkeHarrison was the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. The ParkeHarrisons'
collaboration has developed over the past sixteen years and in 2000 they publicly acknowledged coauthorship of their images. The Architect's Brother, a museum exhibition of 45 images, toured
throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. The ParkeHarrisons have exhibited their work in
numerous group exhibitions, including the following current exhibitions, the Missing Peace: Artists
Consider the Dalai Lama; Imaging a Shattered Earth: Contemporary Photography and the
Environmental Debate; and Envisioning Change, an exhibition mounted in conjunction with the
United Nations Environment Programs World Environment Day. Their work is in numerous private
and public collections including Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Whitney Museum of
American Art; Museum of Fine Arts Houston; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Art
Institute of Chicago; and the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House. In
2008, they received the Nancy Graves Foundation Grant. Restoration: Robert and Shana
ParkeHarrison, a solo exhibition, is concurrently on view at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art In
Kansas City, MO, through February 8, 2009.
Juneau Empire announces new promotions
PUBLISHED: 1:38 PM on Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Two Juneau Empire employees were recently promoted,
reflecting changes in key leadership positions at the
Todd Vodnansky, the Empire's national accounts manager
since October 2007 and its interim advertising director since
June 1, was named advertising director for the Empire and its
sister publication, the Capital City Weekly. The announcement
was made Sept. 15 by Publisher Robert Hale.
Vodnansky, a native of Chicago, is a 2002 graduate of
William Woods University in Fulton, Mo., with a bachelor of
science degree in business with an emphasis in advertising. In his new role, Vodnansky
will have responsibility for advertising and marketing strategies for the Empire's and the
Capital City Weekly's print and online editions, along with development of crossbranding strategies and opportunities for the two publications, both of which are owned
by Morris Communications Co. of Augusta, Ga.
Stephens volleyball coach looks to grow with Stars
Thursday, September 25, 2008 | 7:09 p.m. CDT
New Stephens volleyballl coach Abby Funderburk directs her players in drills during practice at
Silverthorne Arena on September 25. ¦ MARY MINCHEW/Missourian
BY TYLER KROCHMAL
COLUMBIA— Stephens College volleyball coach Abby Funderburk is learning with her team.
“I mean, it’s a new coach, new freshmen, a new conference and a new level of collegiate play,” Funderburk
said. “So we just have to get used to the new, and not be afraid of change.”
Funderburk, named the Stars' head coach earlier this year, is two years out of William Woods University
and finished graduate school this year. She was a two-time first team all-conference player for the Owls, a
two-time all-conference honorable mention and the 2004 AMC Libero of the Year. After graduation,
Funderburk was an assistant coach at William Woods University for two years before coming to Stephens
Funderburk has played volleyball since she was in kindergarten, and both her parents were coaches.
“Volleyball has always been in my blood," she said. "I just love being around the game and so, because I
can’t play, I can coach and still be around volleyball.”
Funderburk knows it will take time to become recognized as a serious contender in the American Midwest
“Stephens hasn’t always been the athletic school, or people don’t know Stephens athletics,” Funderburk
said. “They’re trying to change that, and I think it's starting. People in our conference, when we play them,
they don’t expect us to come out and play, and we hang with people.”
Funderburk knows building a consistent winner is a process.
“It’s not going to change overnight, hopefully they know that. I know that,” Funderburk said. “It’s going to
take hard work, and I’ve told them we have to work harder, practice harder, run harder and go longer than
any team in the conference if we want to be successful.
"People aren’t just going to hand it to us because we’re Stephens, they’re not just going to be like, ‘Well,
OK, you guys aren’t really that good, we’re going to go easy on you.’ No one’s going to do that, they’re
going to go even harder because we are new.”
She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in visual communications and is pursuing her goal of becoming a
sports information director for a college. Stephens College does not currently have a position like that, but
Funderburk, who now works full-time at a mall, hopes to help build the program to a point where a sports
information director would be necessary.
“Because we’re such a newer school as far as athletics go, we’re trying to build the program and build the
athletics at Stephens,” Funderburk said. “Hopefully, in the next couple years, we will get an SID position,
where I would do both, coach volleyball and do that.”
The Stars finished first in the Baptist Bible College Tournament last weekend and are 8-8 on the season but
winless in the AMC at 0-4. So Funderburk has to work to instill a winning attitude.
I'm "trying to get them to the mentality that you guys can succeed as a team and it's OK to win,” Funderburk
said. “They’re not afraid to win, but it’s something new to them, because they haven’t been successful as far
as winning goes.”
Sophomore Brianne Arvin said one of her goals is to be a contender in the conference.
“Other teams won’t just expect to beat us, like they usually have,” Arvin said. “We’ll just keep building at
Funderburk has seen her players respond well to all the changes this season by playing hard and learning
along with her.
“They’ve really given it their all, and ... I can trust them to do things that I couldn’t trust most teams to do,”
Funderburk said. “Like, for instance, run a practice by themselves or condition by themselves. If they don’t
know, they’re not afraid to ask questions, which I like.
"I wouldn’t want them to just go and do something wrong, and be doing it the whole time and not ask, well,
‘Why are we doing this?’ So then I can say, 'Well, this is why we’re doing this,' and then they can know that
she’s not making us do this just for fun, or just for her laughs.”
Stephens College is the only school in the AMC without an assistant coach. Funderburk said not having
another coaching opinion can make game decisions difficult, especially in her first year.
“One of the biggest obstacles is not having an assistant to kind of bounce ideas off,” Funderburk said. “And
I’m still learning, like, 'OK, when should I sub, when should I call a timeout?'”
The Stars athletic program is looking into adding an assistant, or possibly starting a junior varsity squad,
which would add another coach and help with player development.
“To have someone else’s point of view, I guess, would be nice,” Arvin said, “but we don’t really need one.”
Funderburk said she wants her team to focus on having fun.
“If you’re not having fun, then it’s not worth it anymore,” Funderburk said.
Stephens College plays at 7 p.m. on Friday at , University of Illinois-Springfield.
Posted: Thursday, Sep 25, 2008 - 08:22:50 am CDT
WWU volleyball 3
By RYAN BOLAND
The Fulton Sun
HANNIBAL, Mo. - The Lady Owls collected their third straight conference win Tuesday
night, downing the Lady Trojans 25-20, 25-23 and 25-21.
William Woods University (5-7, 3-0 American Midwest Conference) plays a
conference match at McKendree (Ill.) University at 3 p.m. Saturday. The Lady Owls
then face Central Methodist University at 5.
Posted: Thursday, Sep 25, 2008 - 08:22:51 am CDT
WWU soccer (W) 2
By RYAN BOLAND
The Fulton Sun
Senior forward Ashley Morgan delivered both of the Lady Owls' goals, including the
game-winner in overtime at Firley Field on Tuesday night.
Morgan now has 14 goals in seven matches this season.
William Woods University improved to 5-2 overall and 1-1 in the American Midwest
Conference with Tuesday night's victory. Hannibal-LaGrange College is now 3-4-1
overall and 1-1 in conference play.
The Lady Owls travel to McKendree (Ill.) University for an AMC match at 7 p.m.
Posted: Tuesday, Sep 23, 2008 - 08:39:44 am CDT
Fulton goes 2-for-3 in William Woods Tournament
By CHRIS WALLER and RYAN BOLAND
The Fulton Sun
After winning their first two games in the William Woods softball tournament on
Saturday, the Lady Hornets could not continue the momentum as they lost their final
game to North Callaway 5-3.
Senior Tina Hein recorded the loss for Fulton. She gave up eight hits and four strike
outs. Hein, senior second baseman Amanda Abbott and junior third baseman Paige
Baysinger all went 2-for-3 on the night.
Earlier in the day, Hein picked up a victory against Bowling Green by a score of 5-3.
Hein gave up six hits and recorded four strike outs.
The Lady Hornets had nine hits as a team, with two coming from junior catcher Katie
Payne who went 2-for-4. Sophomore Hannah Braun and senior centerfielder Talisha
Washington both went 2-for-3.
The first game of the day was played against New Bloomfield, and it was a one-sided
match with Fulton winning 8-0.
Baysinger took the mound for the Lady Hornets, and pitched the entire game, giving
up two hits and striking out three.
Senior secondbaseman Amanda Abbott went 2-for-3 with a double and a triple.
Payne and senior right fielder Kellyn Baysinger each had one hit and one run scored.
“Overall it was a pretty good weekend,” head coach Laura Dooley said. “We are
finally starting to hit the ball more consistently.”
The Lady Hornets will travel to Kirksville for their next game on Wednesday.
Articles Regarding Higher Education
Sept. 29, 2008
Colleges Shouldn't Rely on SAT, ACT Tests, Study Says
By Oliver Staley
Sept. 22 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. colleges and universities shouldn't rely on the SAT and ACT tests to determine which
students to admit and instead use exams that gauge knowledge of subject matter, a study found.
The SAT and ACT aren't as effective at predicting college performance as advanced placement exams and subject
tests administered by the College Board, according to the study released today by the National Association for
College Admission Counseling, a trade group based in Arlington, Virginia.
Basing admissions decisions more on student grades and on tests of high school subject matter would create an
incentive for better teaching, according to the report, written by a panel headed by William Fitzsimmons, dean of
admissions of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A change also would reduce reliance on the test
preparation industry, which favors affluent test-takers, the report said.
``Further alignment of college entrance testing and preparation with high school curricula would also reduce the
inequities inherent in the current system of preparation for an administration of college admission tests,'' the report
The importance of the SAT and ACT tests has become distorted by U.S. News & World Reports magazine, which
uses the scores in its annual college rankings, the group said.
Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and Wake Forest University, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, are
among 775 schools no longer requiring the SAT or ACT, according to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing,
based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
`State of Admissions'
The SAT, which was taken by 1.6 million high school students this year, is administered by the non-profit College
Board. While schools shouldn't base admission decisions solely on the SAT, the test is a useful tool and helps guard
against inflation in high school grades, the New York board said in an e-mailed statement.
``Hundreds of national research studies show that the SAT is a valid predictor of college success,'' the College Board
said. ``We have long advised that the best use of the SAT in the admission process is in combination with high school
The ACT, taken by 1.42 million students, is given by ACT Inc. of Iowa City, Iowa. ACT officials dispute the report's
contention that the exam doesn't test material learned in school.
``It is a direct measure of what students learn in school,'' said Jon Erickson, vice president of educational services, in a
phone interview today. ``We feel the ACT is still a good predictor of college success.''
SAT and ACT test results account for 7.5 percent of the scores U.S. News assigns schools in its rankings, and the
magazine has no plans to stop using them, said Bob Morse, director of research for the magazine.
``Our methodology, in our view, reflects the state of admissions in higher education,'' Morse said today in a telephone
interview from Washington. ``We're not pushing higher education to do anything. We're capturing what's going on.''
Creating the Anti-Rankings
Could the process of selecting a college actually be educational or even ... intellectual? Could one imagine
the day when high school students compare approaches to first-year biology instead of rock-climbing
walls, the quality of writing instruction instead of U.S. News and World Report rankings?
That’s the vision of College Speaks — a tool being created by the Education Conservancy, an
organization that has been fighting the many commercial forces that have become big players in college
admissions and attempting to make educational counseling central to the process. The group, led by Lloyd
Thacker, has been best known in recent years for urging colleges to refuse to fill out the “reputational”
surveys used by U.S. News, which are widely seen as invalid by educators. While that campaign may be
having some success with college presidents — fewer of whom appear to be filling out the surveys — it
hasn’t diminished the rankings’ popularity.
Recognizing that — and also responding to the requests of some rankings critics, who have said they want
to put forward a positive alternative — the Education Conservancy has been working for a year on a new
approach, an explicitly anti-rankings system for the college search.
An early version was presented for the first time in public Thursday at the annual meeting of the National
Association for College Admission Counseling. It is a much more individualized, education focused
approach, with less reliance on pure statistics, and the focus is on the fit between student and college, not
the superiority of one college over another. The concept drew considerable praise from high school
counselors and college admissions officers. Many said it was essential that some sort of service like this
Jeff Brenzel, dean of admissions at Yale University, delivered a lengthy attack on U.S. News, talking
about how Robert Morse — who directs the magazine’s college rankings — once asked him why, if the
rankings are bad, colleges participate. Brenzel said he replied: “You know that you’ve got a monopoly on
this game and by virtue of your monopoly you force people into this position. We submit because we have
no alternative.” Brenzel added that the conversation with Morse convinced him that it is past time “to
build a better alternative.”
But even amid the praise for the project, there was also skepticism, primarily about practicalities rather
than the concept. Some noted that there are many other sources of college information — already taxing
colleges’ time — and that many students appear to gravitate toward less educational tools. And there is
also discussion about how to build a permanent infrastructure to support the project, which Thacker and
others say shouldn’t stay at the Education Conservancy permanently.
How the Site Would Work
Here’s how a student would experience the College Speaks site. The first part of the search would involve
the student answering questions. There are three broad sets of questions, and students might jump around,
focusing on some areas more than others. The three main areas are: What do I know about myself as a
student? What do I know about selecting colleges? What do I know about college admissions?
Through follow-up questions, the goal would be to help students think about whether they want or are
prepared for a very rigorous education, whether they might need to place more of a value on support
services, whether geography is a key factor, why large or small institutions offer particular advantages and
disadvantages, and so forth.
Where possible, the students will also get resources to help them think about these questions, and data
showing how the attitudes of college students and recent graduates changed over time — and how some of
the qualities most prized by high school students may not be so important a few years down the road. The
emphasis of the questions is on the learning environment, with questions and information about large
classes vs. small, the importance of certain academic programs, internships, etc.
When a student wants to actually look for specific colleges, the site provides the “College Fit Finder.”
Here, the search is based in part on the students’ answers to the questions about their educational goals,
and also on some data-driven factors (grade point average). Students also can indicate whether they want
to look at colleges that de-emphasize the SAT or don’t require it — and for those who don’t make those
choices, they can look for institutions with certain competitiveness ranges.
In many ways, Thacker said, the site is designed to replicate some of the values of college admissions
counseling; a good counselor would never start a meeting by speculating on the most prestigious college
to which a student might be admitted, but would ask a lot of questions and listen. He stressed the way
College Speaks would put “educational values” back at center stage.
When a student goes through the process and receives a list of colleges to consider, they will not be
ranked, but they will have different kinds of information — beyond what a search would yield of a
traditional college database. Students would find a syllabus sampler of courses, answers by colleges to a
series of questions about their unique qualities, details about academic philosophy and so forth. In
addition, a tool being built would allow a prospective student to contact a current student or faculty
member at the college for a private online conversation. Colleges would also be able to add additional
information, slide shows of their campus, and the more standard statistics that other Web sites provide.
Still other site features would include an “ask the experts” section where college presidents and admission
deans respond to a range of questions in writing and video format, as well as data and other information
about financial aid. The site would be free for students and high schools to use and would not feature
Some parts of the site — such as a rotating featured college — would be selected from among colleges
providing as much information as possible, but the spot could not be purchased. Thacker predicted that the
public nature of the site would encourage colleges to provide a lot of information. He said that when
colleges see their peers participating, they will be motivated to join as well.
Thacker said that the site, while non-commercial, needs a business model to thrive. He said that the
Education Conservancy was exploring options for the project to be adopted by a group that would respect
the independence of the project and provide it with the support it needs.
Excitement and Concerns
The general reaction from those at the presentation was positive, with many talking about how the planned
Web site provided a truly education-focused look at identifying colleges. People specifically praised the
way the site will try to engage students, rather than just spitting out lists, and lauded such features as the
There was some concern about whether students would go for it. “Will a kid coming across the site,”
asked one counselor “surf right by it [after] finding too many words?” Another suggested that while the
approach was sound, it might attract more student interest if it ranked colleges (for each student
individually), as some students want to get a 1, 2, 3 list. (Others said that they like College Speaks for not
There was also much discussion of how information would be gathered. Privately, some at the meeting
said later that they feared that the proposed site — while educationally worthy — would involve a lot of
work for colleges that are already frustrated by the volume of information requests from government
agencies, accreditors and rankings.
Indeed, while rankings and the government have been asking colleges for data for years, this effort comes
at a time when Web sites on the college experience are proliferating. Many public colleges and
universities are joining the Voluntary System of Accountability; many private ones are participating in the
University and College Accountability Network. Other new sites continue to sprout up, such as Unigo,
which pitches itself as a place for students to share information about their own colleges. Generally, those
raising the concern about Web site overload said that they liked the idea of College Speaks, and in fact
preferred it to some existing sites, but didn’t know if they could drop the sites they already used.
Others said that they worried about how College Speaks would measure such factors as academic rigor
and student support services in a comparable way. “The elephant in the room is whether colleges will be
honest,” said one counselor.
Several suggested that the Education Conservancy link up with the National Survey of Student
Engagement and use its data, although Thacker pointed out that not all colleges participate and that not all
colleges are public with their data. He also expressed hope that more would participate in the future, and
that NSSE data might be one way to go. He stressed that the version of the Web site being presented was
preliminary and this meeting was being held to get feedback to improve the ideas, not to unveil a finished
Thacker said that he realized that the project faced hurdles, but he said he was optimistic that it could
jump them. He noted that so many colleges have “a thirst” to take the admissions process back from
commercial interests — and said that this effort was a way for them to do so.
Robert Massa, vice president for enrollment and college relations at Dickinson College, said he thought
the effort would work. “It’s distinctive in that it forces students to think, and most tools don’t,” he said.
Yale vs. ‘U.S. News’
Among those in the audience was Morse, the U.S. News rankings director. Asked what he made of the
presentation, Morse said that “the site and concept still has a considerable amount of work to think
through,” adding that “I have strong doubts that the data currently exists to produce the type of search and
information the creators think is possible.” At the same time, he said that “U.S. News hopes that they
The magazine has long argued that its influence isn’t as great as colleges claim and charged that colleges
use it as a scapegoat.
Brenzel, of Yale, said that the reason this project was so important was that it would challenge the
magazine’s hold on the admissions process. He said that people frequently ask him why he should care
about this project; “You live at the top of the rankings,” they say. But Brenzel said that gave him a
particularly good view of the damage being done. He cited the “many inappropriate applications driven
strictly by our brand name and prestige” and the “view that admissions game is a game.”
Citing further damage done by the rankings, he cited “the trustees and other stakeholders who obsess”
over SAT scores, application counts, and yield because “they think tiny distinctions matter,” and end up
asking “why is Princeton always No. 1 and what can we do about that?”
But perhaps worst, he said, is the toll on students, who must suffer from “incredible parental narcissism”
and may end up — when rejected from colleges at the top of the rankings — “internalizing a judgment of
their personal potential and worth.”
Brenzel said that Morse once tried to convince him to stop supporting Thacker’s efforts. But Brenzel said
that U.S. News rankings have been “the greatest amplifier” of many of the negative trends in admissions in
the last 20 years and it was time to create a new system. It is, he said, “a moral obligation.”
The original story and user comments can be viewed online at
Sunday, September 21, 2008
See HTML Version of article
Students see need for job skills
By Sara Foss
Economy pushes more to college
CAPITAL REGION — Derek Monaghan is back on campus after a three-year hiatus.
The 25-year-old Scotia resident is taking a full courseload at Schenectady County Community College before leaving for the Air
Force in January. When he returns, he plans to finish his associate degree and then study mechanical engineering at Binghamton
University with the Air Force footing the bill.
In the past, Monaghan paid for school himself. His parents separated when he was about 19, which, he says, “put a damper on
things,” and in 2005 he left SCCC to “regain financial stability.” But he says the time off helped him mature and focus, and the
desire to serve his country and receive a free education made the Air Force a good option. He took out a loan to pay this
semester’s tuition, but expects the military to repay him.
Colleges throughout the Capital Region are reporting jumps in enrollment and applications. Such increases are typical during
economic downturns, as people seek to acquire job skills and knowledge that will make them more attractive to employers. At
the same time, it’s only getting more difficult to finance a college education. The credit crunch, a dismal economy and rising
costs are forcing students to take on more debt and making it harder just to obtain loans.
Throughout the summer, colleges and universities in the Capital Region were inundated with calls for help, and report
substantial increases in the number of students applying for financial aid.
“Anecdotally, it was a rough summer,” said Brian McGarvey, associate dean for student access/director of financial aid at
Schenectady County Community College. “A lot of people came in here with extenuating circumstances — a parent lost a job,
their income wasn’t the same. … We’re seeing a lot of extenuating circumstances.”
At the University at Albany, applications for financial aid jumped 19 percent, according to Beth Post, the school’s director of
financial aid. The number of applications for financial aid increases every year, but a typical increase is in the 4 to 5 percent
range, she said. In addition, a record number of students have called the school’s financial aid office with questions about the
financial aid application process.
“People are concerned,” Post said. “They don’t have as much discretionary income. They’re very anxious about their ability to
afford an education. Parents know the value of an education, and they’re still willing to send their child, but they’re more
anxious. They’re worried about keeping their jobs.”
“It was quite a summer,” Post said.
David Alonge, a junior at the University at Albany, said he expects to graduate with $30,000 in students loans. “Loans cover
most of my tuition,” said the 20-year-old accounting major from Marlboro. He gets about $500 a year from the state’s Tuition
Assistance Program, “but that doesn’t even begin to cover my books and gas,” and works 16 hours a week at Wal-Mart. Even so,
he feels he has it pretty good compared to some of his friends, “who are really struggling.” But he’s worried about the future.
“With the economy, I worry about not getting a job,” he said.
At Schenectady County Community College, a record number of students have enrolled for the fall semester, and full-time
student enrollment is up about 7 percent from last year at this time. Many of these students, McGarvey said, were accepted at
four-year institutions, but decided to attend SCCC because it would be cheaper. “There’s been even more interest this year,”
he said. “The economy is probably a reason. The first two years at community college are a bargain, and a number of students
who were considering four-year institutions came here instead.”
Andrew Matonak, president of Hudson Valley Community College, echoed this. “Students are looking at HVCC as a real viable
option, even if they were admitted to a four-year institution,” he said. “They’re looking at HVCC, and the cost of education.”
Enrollment at HVCC is up about 5 percent, and applications for financial aid are up as well, he said.
Union College, a private college in Schenectady, saw increases in both financial aid and admissions applications. Linda Parker,
the school’s director of financial aid, said the number of applications for admission jumped 10 percent, while applications for
aid jumped about 16 percent. She attributed the jump in aid applications to the economy, but also to increased awareness
about financial aid programs.
Fran Clark, program coordinator for the New York Public Interest Research Group, which advocates for affordability in higher
education, said that so far students who qualify for student loans don’t seem to be having trouble getting them. “The credit
market has tightened, but students are still able to get federally backed loans,” he said. But problems may arise for students
who have exhausted their federal loans and are forced to turn to private lenders, many of whom have stopped lending to
college students. At the state’s public schools, where NYPIRG’s chapters are based, most students have federally backed loans.
At some schools, such as SCCC, the federal government is a direct provider of federally subsidized student loans, which are
backed by the government and offer lower interest rates; McGarvey said that last year only 25 students at SCCC used private
loans to pay for their education, and that this year that number has dropped to about three.
But at other schools, such as the University at Albany, banks provide the federally subsidized loans through the Federal Family
Education Loan Program.
Some banks have dropped out of the program, forcing University at Albany students to find new lenders. Most of the students
still finance their education with federally subsidized loans, but some borrow from private lenders, Post said.
This is unfortunate, she said, because the federal loans come with a low, fixed rate, while “students with private loans do not
end up with the lowest rate.”
“It’s pretty clear that the credit spigot has been turned off for a lot of college students, and that it’s difficult to get a loan on
good terms,” said Tom Hilliard, senior policy associate at the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy in Albany.
Hilliard said adult students face special challenges in paying for college. New York has a generous aid program, the Tuition
Assistance Program, which helps make up for the fact that tuition at its public schools is relatively pricey. The problem is that
it’s easier for traditional students to obtain aid.
“If you’re 18 years old and you’re living alone and working, you have less access to TAP than someone who is middle class and
living with their parents who are paying for college,” he said. “We’re concerned about working students. The old model still
works for four-year students, but it doesn’t work for two-year students.”
Until 2006, TAP was unavailable to part-time students. The state now allows part-time students to apply for TAP, but they must
first study full time for a year to be eligible.
As a result, “enrollment [for part-time students] is very low,” Hilliard said.
fewer adult students
Statewide, the number of adult college students is steadily shrinking. In 1995, people between 25 and 49 represented one-third
of all of New York’s undergraduate students; by 2005, that percentage had dropped to just over one fifth, according to a paper,
titled “Working to Learn, Learning to Work,” put out last year by the Schuyler Center. Meanwhile, the number of students
between the ages of 18 and 24 has increased since 1995; a Schuyler Center analysis showed jumps from 13 percent to 34
percent throughout New York’s different regions.
The state’s worsening fiscal crisis will only make it tougher for students, Clark predicted. He noted that Gov. David Paterson
recently vetoed a bill that would have allowed midyear adjustments of Tuition Assistance Program payments in the event of an
emergency, such as a parent losing a job, a military call-up or divorce or separation. Current state law doesn’t allow for
adjustments to TAP awards during the semester. The bill would have cost $10 million.
“The governor has called for a zero-growth budget, and that’s a real concern, because the costs of running a university go up
each year,” Clark said. During a late-summer emergency economic session, state lawmakers cut $51 million from the City
University of New York system, and another $96 million from the State University of New York. A $5.4 billion deficit is projected
for the coming fiscal year, and state agencies have been asked to cut their budgets by 7 percent.
“Costs are always going up,” Clark said. At SUNY, “Books and supplies are about $1,000 a year now. Dorm fees have gone up.
Meal plans are up. The overall cost of going to school is going up.”
Hilliard predicted that the cuts would result in the first tuition increase for SUNY and CUNY students since 2003, when tuition at
SUNY schools increased from $3,400 a year to $4,350.
For a full-time student at SCCC, tuition and fees is $3,263. About 80 percent of the school’s full-time students receive some
form of financial assistance.
Colleges throughout the U.S. have become less affordable, according to “Measuring Up 2006,” a report by The National Center
for Public Policy and Higher Education.
The report suggests that paying for college has become significantly more difficult for American families, particularly those with
modest and low incomes. “An important indicator of declining affordability is an increase in student debt,” the report says.
“Each year more students borrow and the amount they borrow increases.”
Even though state and federal financial assistance has increased 140 percent since 1991, that increase has not kept pace with
the increased cost of college attendance, the report says.
The report grades each state on college affordability; 43 states, including New York, flunked. New York, the report says, has
fallen behind other states in enrolling students in college by age 19, and the proportion of working-age adults enrolling in
college has also declined.
“Higher education in New York is less affordable than most other states,” the report says. “Despite its historically strong
performance in higher education, college opportunity has declined in New York since the early 1990s.”
New York fared well on other measures in the report, receiving an A- for student preparation and the proportion of students
completing degrees and certificates.
TSU fights for affordable tuition
By Eden Derby
Thursday, September 25, 2008 at 5:39 p.m.
KIRKSVILLE, MO -- According to the National Education Association, 400,000 students don't have the money to
attend college each year.
Universities around the nation, including Truman State University, held the first “Got Tuition?” Day of Action
“Got Tuition?” is a national campaign urging Congress to make college more affordable.
“We are collecting signatures to send off to Congress to lower interest rates on existing loans and loans in the
future, to increase the Pell Grant, and to help get more loan forgiveness for people who go into public service
jobs,” said Chair Kristina Rieman.
The Day of Action also informs students on what political candidates are saying about higher education and how to
apply for financial aid.
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The wolf calling little red riding hood mean!
Posted by Jim Hadar, Kirksville - Thursday, September 25, 2008 at 7:48 p.m.
Seems to me if the folks at TSU are so concerned about affordable tuition, they could start with controlling
spending. That way they could possibly (dare I say it?) CUT tuiton! Lets start with the $250-grand they're
paying Mrs. Dixon to buy out her contract / consulting fee, WHATEVER. THEN...how about slowing down on the
construction/renovations? Can anyone honestly recall a time in the last ten-fifteen years when some form of
new building, new parking lot, renovation, etc was NOT going on somewhere on campus? A few years back
during the Ophelia Parish addition, the university destroyed a parking lot built at great expense just a few
short years earlier. And thats just one small example. How much money has been squandered on Student
Union Building projects in the last decade? TSU has lived far too high off the taxpayers dollar since the mission
change to the designated liberal arts institution. Now they have the gall to whine about tuition? Do like
average working folks...live within your means!
University of Ill. virtual campus flounders
By DAVID MERCER – 9/25/08
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — An $8.9 million online campus launched by the University of
Illinois nine months ago has had disappointing enrollment and fewer course offerings
than expected, but the man who created it isn't giving up.
Instead, University of Illinois President Joseph White said he wants to turn the school's
Global Campus into an independent, accredited university to speed up development of
So far 121 students have enrolled in just five degree programs — far short of the 9,000
students White projected would enroll by the end of the Global Campus' first five years.
When it started offering classes in January, White hoped his professors would quickly
create online programs in business, engineering and other high-demand fields.
For the most part, "That has not happened," White told The Associated Press in an
interview Wednesday. "I'm not mad at anybody about that. I think we've come to realize
that we have a university faculty that is at capacity."
White said the Global Campus is hamstrung by its status in the university system — it
lacks the autonomy of the campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield —
and by the fact that its degree programs have to be created by departments on those
Nicholas Burbules, a professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the
Urbana-Champaign campus and chairman of the Faculty Senate there, said some
departments White counted on to create degree programs may have decided — for
whatever reason — that they'd rather not.
"I think everyone understands the current model isn't generating the kind and number and
diversity of programs that any of us envisioned," said Burbules. "I think frankly there
were a lot of questions about implementation details."
So, White plans to ask the university's board of trustees in November to let the Global
Campus seek its own accreditation, giving it the same standing and independence as the
university's three brick-and-mortar campuses.
White envisioned the Global Campus as a revenue generator. He estimated a fully
developed virtual campus would pump $10 million a year into the university system by
providing affordable access to higher education for people who can't easily take classes at
a U of I campus.
White said the Global Campus could gain accreditation, create new degree programs and
draw on interested faculty from the three existing campuses, all without initially spending
more than the $8.9 million budgeted for the venture this year.
Online learning is not particularly new, and other institutions have had more success with
it. The University of Massachusetts, for example, said in April its online program had
33,900 enrollments and revenue of $37 million last fiscal year. Nearly 3.5 million
students nationwide took at least one online course during the fall 2006 term, according
to a report last year by the Sloan Consortium.
Trustees David Dorris and Robert Vickery say they haven't seen the details of White's
proposal, but support at least the idea of restructuring the Global Campus.
"We have not had the success thus far that we had anticipated, so I think it's appropriate,"
If trustees sign off his idea, White says the Global Campus could win accreditation from
the Chicago-based Higher Learning Commission in two to three years. That's shorter than
the usual time required, he said, but he expects the status of the university's three
campuses would help speed the process.
White hopes to launch at least one degree-completion program within a year, and he
added he won't allow the Global Campus to lower the university system's existing
standards to increase Global Campus enrollment and offerings.
"Access to mediocrity is no bargain," he said. "Our goal is that all the University of
Illinois' programs be of the highest quality."
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